News bits: Little Radio, Chili Peppers, Fitz, Todd


[File under: Things I have heard, seen or read:]

LittleRadio-Spoon-071707-TN LittleRadio-NYE2005-KB

Little Radio, R.I.P?: Reports of the demise of Little Radio have been exaggerated. The six-year-old Internet radio station, whose struggles have been bandied about on the Internet recently, remains up and running and webcasting curated playlists, although it suffered a setback earlier this year when it lost its space on Main Street downtown and its alliance to do shows at the Regent Theater. While declining to talk specifics, head honcho Dave Conway says he is working to return LR to the profile it once enjoyed. (Photos: Spoon’s surprise show at LR’s Long Beach warehouse in ’07 [by Timothy Norris]; and LR’s New Year’s Eve 2005-06 bash with the Living Things. Fun times.)

Meanwhile, last week Conway had a very informative post: “How to Start your Own Pirate Radio Station.”

Red Hot: I hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers are writing music for a 10th album, but without John Frusciante. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who toured with the Peppers as a second axeman (and who also has played with Gnarls Barkley, Beck and PJ Harvey), is involved.

Disney land: Nice to read that the Airborne Toxic Event was able to carry a “big room.” I spent that night cursing the concert calendar because …

61HHiUlQoOL._SS500_Just another onionhead: The night Airborne played Disney I was engaging in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Todd Rundgren perform his genius album “A Wizard, A True Star” at the Orpheum. Other commitments prevented me from waxing poetic on the show, but rest assured I could have – only the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Neil Young informed my early musical explorations as profoundly as Todd, the lovable, brilliant contrarian. The Orpheum show was not nearly as haphazard as this review makes out – it was a night for the Cult of Todd, and you either belong or you don’t. I told a friend it was like going to a family reunion and having your weird uncle show up in costume and steal the party. That, at 61, Rundgren was able to pull it off was nothing short of amazing; I only wish I’d been able to bring 10 or 12 of my young friends who think Animal Collective are groundbreaking.

Don’t sell soul, give it away: “Songs for a Break Up,” the debut EP from Northern soul purveyors Fitz & the Tantrums, is available for free (e-mail required) at their website. Included: Three tracks recorded live on KCRW-FM, and a remix of “Breakin’ the Chains of Love.” Recommended.

Who’s a robot?: There’s a new Ima Robot album? Color me curious.

Sign here: Kudos to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, who have signed to British indie 4AD. … And I hear that newbies AWOL Nation, the latest project from Under the Influence of Giants’ charismatic frontman Aaron Bruno, might be signing to Red Bull’s music label.

Notable: Silversun Pickups touring with Muse? Nice, but let’s have that L.A. date, please. … Local psych-blues rockers Night Horse, whose debut this year on Tee Pee launched me into a pleasant time warp whenever I visited it, will record their next album in January with producer/engineer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis, Pearl Jam). … Would it make sense for the people behind the Key Club and the also-recently-departed Knitting Factory to join forces? Not sure. There’s a void for the harder-edged music the Knitting Factory used to book, though. Just a hunch, but I don’t sense the Key Club will be back soon.

And finally: Can’t wait to hear the new album from singer-songwriter Cary Brothers – who explains why he bought his way out of his record deal this year. He’s also released a three-song holiday EP, and here’s a taste of the title track, a cover on the Kinks’ “Father Christmas:”

||| Stream: “Father Christmas” [audio: Brothers_Father Christmas.mp3]